What is the mood in "The Most Dangerous Game"?
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The mood of this famous story is ominous and suspenseful, primarily because of the setting and plot. Rainsford initially thinks he swims to safety after falling off the yacht, but he arrives on an island with a strangely gothic mansion, complete with a heavy front door and a threatening doorman. Once General Zaroff, who is a disarmingly gracious host, explains the rules of the "game," Rainsford must struggle for his life in a jungle-like forest complete with a "Death Swamp." Although Rainsford is a famous, experienced hunter, he is hardly a match for the general who knows the island well and tracks him unerringly. Although Rainsford has some success, with the hounds and Zaroff's henchman Ivan in pursuit as well, Rainsford must jump off a cliff to escape. To the reader's surprise, after Zaroff's leisurely dinner, Rainsford confronts Zaroff in his bedroom and challenges him. With the ending, Rainsford "had never slept in a better bed," we learn that he did indeed defeat the vicious general who "furnished a repast for the dogs."
Throughout the story the gripping suspense creates a mood that engages the reader and never falters.
Perhaps one of my favorite stories ever, the mood of "The Most Dangerous Game" is, from the very beginning, threatening, to say the least, with the island looming almost like a living breathing beast awaiting Rainsford's arrival. From the point of his arrival and meeting with Zaroff, the mood escalates to one of spellbinding transfixation as Rainsford enters into whirlwind of fear and dread as the hunter becomes the hunted. This is another reason I love this story, the mood doesn't stay fixed; it seems to take on a life of its own moving through the story much like living prey itself, changing instantaneously from one course to another. One minute you are tensed with fear and the next, you are resting in a comfortable bed. There aren't a lot of stories that can do that for a reader. Hope this helps.
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